Day 2083 Back to Life, Back to Reality Edition

Why hello!

I know it’s been a while but I have a great reason…MY PARENTS WERE IN TOWN!
I haven’t seen them since Christmas and it was truly their time in the Emerald City. Well…the Wet Emerald City. While it was rainy and cold, there’s nothing better than spending time with the ones you love while showing off your favorite city.

Just to recap, the past week was kind of blur and full of amazing food. I hit the reset button today with a long (and brutal) 3-mile run and some amazing dinner. And with that, we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled blogging tomorrow with an epic recap of last week in Wordless Wednesday form. See ya tomorrow!

One piece at a time

Growing up, I was obsessed with this one up and coming artist who got his big break by playing a space coyote on The Simpsons. His name…was Johnny Cash. Have you heard of him? Anyway, while ol’ JC had plenty of classic hits, one of my favorites is the song “One Piece at a Time.” The song is a story of an auto worker who steals a car part every day for years. Thanks to the advancement of the automobile, by the time he had all the parts for said automobile, it was one weird looking jalopey. But hey? It ran! 

What does this have to do with weight loss, you ask? Hang tight, I’m getting there. 

This week was the first time in a loooooooong time that I actually tracked what I ate. For the past two year or so, I have tried anything to lose weight from eating almost completely vegan to joinging classes to halfway training for a half marathon. I did everything BUT track my points. You know, the way I lost 100 pounds. 

My issue was that I was overloading myself with an insane amount of things that have worked for other people instead of what worked for me. You see, after I lost 100 pounds, I tried to keep the momentum going by trying other things instead of being patient and let the process work. Before I knew it, I was completely bogged down with trying to do way too much when in fact all I needeed to do was listen to myself. That’s when I decided to take a sabbatical of sorts from weighing in and just caring. I knew that that one added stressor on top of my incredibly stressful summer would have put me over the edge (and trust me, I was already there.)

So this past week, I kept it simple: I tracked most of my points, I talked myself through the multiple work dinners I went to, I ate when I was hungry and didn’t when I wasn’t, and I ran because the weather was awesome yesterday.  

I focused on me this week. 

I have a lot of emotional scarring from the past year and I needed some healing. While I still have some work to do on that front, I needed to get back to the simple things that taught me to love myself and my health when I started five years ago. I feel like losing 6.6 pounds this week is just an awesome byproduct of that time, love and tenderness. 

Eventually, I will join a gym, maybe the join the running club that meets by my office, and maybe even join the Seattle Curling Club. But for now, I’m going to just take it all in one piece at a time.   

 

A Fresh Start

“So I can delete your old account information and your weigh in of 269.4 pounds can be your new starting weight. Would you like to do that?”

“Yes. It’s time for a fresh start.” 

Moving across the country takes a lot out of you. From getting stuck on a dead end road and having to back a moving truck with a car trailer attached back 1000 feet with the help of the Monroe, LA Police Department, to driving with crosswinds of 60+ mph in Wyoming, it’s safe to say that I ate my feelings hard during those six treacherous days. 

But now we’re here in Seattle. And it feels like home. I want to live here forever.  

The blessing and the curse of a new city is having a million new restaurants and eateries to try along with the new-to-you offerings from other ethnicities (we even have a Nepalese place next to our apartment. Seattle is awesome.) Like when we moved to Tallahassee, we wanted to eat anything and everything. I’m pretty sure I was eating the equivalent of six vats of a lard, butter and gravy concoction each day. Thankfully, the gorging stopped when we decided to start losing weight. 

I would like to say that wasn’t the case when we got here, but it was. It’s too deliciously easy to order REALLY GOOD Chinese food out here! Ironically, I got on the scale about a week into living here and I had actually lost weight since the last time I weighed in Tallahassee. Of course, I got cocky and thought “well I can eat anything! I AM INVINCIBLE!” But like poor Borist in Goldeneye, I too was frozen in liquid nitrogen (wait, what?) I mean, I too got my comeuppins and gained a significant about of weight in a matter of days. Megan and I both knew it was time to take control. So this morning, that’s what we did. 

The opening conversation happened when we went to Weight Watchers meeting for the first time in two years. Today, we signed up for a new membership. A fresh start to match our new adventure here in the northwest. When I attended meetings in Tallahassee, I had a weird feeling towards them. I had lost around 130 pounds “on my own” but I had stalled and I had hoped it would help. Instead of taking in the information, I just sat there and stewed over my gain. It probably wasn’t what I needed then, but it is what I need now. I need that weekly tribe of folks to grow with and a weekly weigh in that will hold me accountable. Like when I first start my weight loss journey almost five years ago, I’m desperate but I’m not going to overthink it and I’m ready for a healthy life. I’m incredibly excited for the meetings, to work with the WW leader, Jodi, who also went to FSU (because this world is tiny), and I’m ready to explore all of the healthy foods and activities that this amazing city has too offer. I am ready for this fresh start.  

Introducing #FFKFitby30

For the past few weeks, Megan and I have binged watched the entire series of Game of Thrones. You know, that show with the dragons, ice zombies and Peter Dinklage. The show is simply amazing and I can’t believe it took me this long to finally watch it. Anyway, while we were watching the fifth season the other night, I thought to myself “wow, I wonder how old Kit Harington (John Snow) is. He must be like…37 or something.” So, like any good TV consumer, I went to IMDB to look for his age. Aaaaaaaand he’s 18 days older than me. That means we graduated high school at the same time, we were in awkward puberty at the same time and we probably secretly even loved Nickelback at the same time. When I told Megan, all she could say was “we’re old.”

While this might mean that I’m just not good at guessing the ages of people, it just reaffirms my false belief that I’m younger that I actually am. (At this point, I’m waiting for some red head to come up to me and say “you know nothing, Nathan MacDonald.”) The reality is that I am an adult and life his happening right now. This all kind of came to a head when I realized that as of June 13th, I am a year and a half away from turning 30. My twenties are almost gone. And I’m kind of sad about it.

At this point, I know you’re ready to comment with a remark like “ummmmm…you’re not that old. Stop whining!” or something like “dude! 30 is the new 15!” But for me, it’s more than that! I’m seeing that 3 number as a finish line for goals that I set nearly a decade ago. (Yes, the FFK is turning 5 years old this year.) I need to think of my journey in those terms so I mentally keep going. More importantly, I need to breath new life into this journey.

With that, I would like to introduce you to #FFKFitby30.

Below is a manageable list of goals that I will conquer before January 13th, 2017 (you know…when I turn 30). Some are serious, some are silly, and others are just plain cool. My plan is once I complete one goal, I will add another! So here we go!

  • Exercise for 30 minutes four times a week.
  • Complete a marathon
  • Run a race every month
  • Do a pull up (yes, one pull up. I can do a tenth of one right now…)
  • Weigh in below 200 pounds (199.8 lbs totally counts!)
  • Get certified in a fitness program like TRX of kettlebells
  • Track my food six times a week

So seven reasonable goals that all benefit one another in some way! I’m going to start tracking food tomorrow in a food journal on my phone and Megan and I also started Insanity Max 30 (check it out! It’s awesome!) last week! I’m ready to begin this journey to 30 and using these goals as my map!

Here. We. Go.

Extracurricular Living

Throughout my academic career, I was a pretty average student. Sure, I won the Taylor Elementary Geography Bee in 1998 because I knew that soda was made with corn syrup and is one of the top commodities produced by the US, but I wasn’t always the top of my class…or…ever the top of any class. In fact, Mrs. Lewis, my AP US History teacher in high school, told me one time that I was a B student and I always would be. (The wonderful faculty of Hillsboro High School in Hillsboro, Texas, ladies and gentlemen.) Now granted, I had some pretty awesome teachers as well like Mrs. Walters, who thought I was a pretty strong writer, and Mr. Davis, who helped me build a deer blind (which was big enough to be considered a tiny house by today’s standards) but overall, I was still just a funny fat kid who was always ready with a ridiculous joke or a comedic fall-out-of-the-chair routine in Ms. Tirey’s class that would have made Chris Farley proud.
Then…I got to college. A fat kid’s time to shine.
Artist rendering of Nathan MacDonald as an adult

Artist rendering of Nathan MacDonald as an adult. Not to scale.

Growing up, everyone told me that college is where you become the person that you’re going to be for the rest of your life. I was ready to finally flutter out of my cocoon and become the awkward butterfly I was born to be. Before I knew it, I was a part of the Freshman Action Council, I was singing in the college choir and eventually, I was pledging a social club (basically a fraternity at a Christian university. Same amount of weird pledging activities but with Bible verses) oh yeah, along with a social life, a part time job and a full load of classes. (Sing Song was thrown in there somewhere too. But that’s for another blog post. Here’s what I’m talking about. Yes…this is a thing. And yes, that is Megan directing. And yes, that is me as an obese Mickey Mouse.)

 But, to paraphrase Uncle Ben, with great time-sucking activities, comes great drop in GPA. I wasn’t a stellar student in college either; it was almost as if that Mrs. Lewis had accurately predicted my future. I left college with a lot of practical experience, but with a transcript that resembled a terrible pick of letters in a game of Scrabble. No vowels (or A’s) to speak of. I wanted graduate school to work, but I knew it was a long shot.
When I finally got in to grad school at Florida State, I flourished. I was on top of my assignments, I worked on group projects with brilliant colleagues, and for once, I was successful at this whole school thing. Consequently, I began my weight lost journey and lost 50 pounds in about a semester.
Why the sudden change, you ask? I didn’t let my extracurricular activities get in my way. I had spend my entire academic life focused on the wrong things. If I had put half as much effort into studying as I did at buying weird CD’s at Hastings, I would have been a pretty great student. Instead, I let the inane obligations of my college life take charge because they weren’t studying, which was hard for me. Up until grad school, that was my life in a nutshell: I didn’t want to work hard towards something because if I failed, it would have been a waste and I would be embarrassed like the time I broke a chair in the fifth grade in front of Brianna Allen, my elementary crush and my friend, Isaac Bray. Trying hard had gotten me nowhere. Why start now?
For the past year, I have let extracurriculars get in the way of my life. I worry about work instead of working out, I eat out to suppress my stress about finances and I watch TV instead of blogging. I do everything I can to avoid eating right and working out consistently and I have paid for it by gaining 30 pounds over the past year. Since October, Megan had I have been eating a heavily plant-based Nutritarian diet (I’ll talk more about that in another post soon) and at one point I had lost close to 15 pounds in about a month! Instead of continuing that momentum, I let my extracurriculars get in my way like not making a healthy choice while eating out or skipping a work out to go to a happy hour. Before I knew it, I was back to where I started and then some.
When I let my extracurriculars build up, I become lethargic and I just become numb and aimless. Losing weight and getting fit is a lot like a race with a finish line, you have a goal in mind so you train for it with purpose. Recently, I’ve been like a boxer beating the air.
So this week, I have re-framed my way of thinking and have created more of a structure for my life. Next week, I’m going to start for the Seattle Rock n’ Roll Half in June and for another awesome half in October (more on that soon!) Last night, I did interval training with a group of awesome friends for the first time and I’m going to use that as the anchor of my training this time around. I’m also going to start riding my spin bike when I’m watching TV, something that I used to do when I was at my lowest weight (not a coincidence). Finally, I have retooled my view on food. While I am going to Austin, the food mecca of the world, next week for SXSWedu, I’m not going to go all YOLO every meal. I am going to indulge, but I’m going to balance it with healthy meals too, along with a few runs thrown in.
I know I have been quiet on here for what feels like the last year, and I’m sorry. I haven’t made time for the FFK because frankly I have been embarrassed about how things have been going. Now, I know I’m not going to be perfect, but I am going to strive to write something ridiculous like this post once a week from now on. I’m still going to post my weigh in’s on the FFK Facebook page and I’ll throw in a Wordless Wednesday here and there. Thank you all for being amazing readers, supporters and friends over the years. You are all amazing.

The Disney Enchanted 10k Explained Through Star Wars: The Force Awakens GIFs

So last weekend, I checked a pretty epic item off of my bucket list: I finally ran my first Disney race! I guess I should back up a little bit…Last year, Megan’s cousin Chelsie asked us if we would be up for running a race at Disney with her, something we have been wanting to do ever since we moved here. We decided to do the Enchanted 10k since it was less expensive than the half marathon that weekend and a little more challenging than the Frozen 5k (which ironically had below freezing temperatures this year.)

Chelsie flew in to Tallahassee on Tuesday night and we went down to Orlando after work on Thursday. On Friday, we went to the awesome race expo at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex where I met one of my favorite Biggest Loser contestants Danni Allen! (There isn’t a GIF to describe how awesome that experience was.) After walking around the expo and a few hours at Downtown Disney, it was time for bed!

Now as you all know, I’m a quite the Star Wars geek. (There’s something about a spacecraft that can make the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs that just gives me the vapors….awe lawdy!) So when I was trying to think of how I was going to effectively and creatively describe just how awesome this actually was, I turned to the only other thing that was as awesome in my mind: the Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer! AAAAHHHH! IT’S SO GOOD!!!! So without further adieu, I present to you the weirdest/funniest, to me at least, race recap I’ve ever done….

We got up early…REALLY early

You know when you wake up super early and you wonder why you even went to bed to begin with? Yeah, it was that early. At 3:30, my first phone alarm went off. (There is nothing worse than When You Wish Upon a Star playing at full volume. I thought it was going to be inspiring since we were running at Disney. I was waaaaay off.) Before I knew it, I was chowing down on a peanut butter and banana bagel sandwich (my pre-race breakfast of choice) and it was time to make our way to Epcot. It was funny to watch the combination of drivers in Kissimmee who were either going home after a night of partying or were part of the convoy of cars with 13.1 stickers on their way to the race.

Then, we waited in our corrals…forever

While I knew the race was big, I didn’t think it was going to be 12,000 racers big. The Epcot parking lot was packed! We knew we had some time, so we waited in the nice warm car for a little while before trudging our way over to the race pavilion. The race’s starting line was in one of the many Epcot parking lots which is smart because there is so much more space to work with. Anyway, Megan and I were in the D corral which was second to last. We didn’t realize that we were going to have to wait for about 45 minutes to finally run after the first corral. It was a weird adjustment for my body because I was so jacked and ready to go and then I had to stand around waiting for our turn. That just happens when you run a big race like that!

Then, it was our turn to run!

Lucasfilm / Via youtube.com

Lucasfilm / Via youtube.com

Our corral was finally called and we were up! The race MC’s counted down and the fireworks went off! Time to conquer some miles!

 

 

 

 

The first few miles…

Lucasfilm / Via youtube.com

Lucasfilm / Via youtube.com

We didn’t start running until 6 so it was still pretty dark. It felt even darker because we ran away from the lights of the park onto the highway. The first mile felt like a cakewalk because my adrenaline finally kicked back into gear. Then, it started to snow!!!!
Well…kind of.
Anna and Elsa were on top of an overpass with “Let it Go” blasting as loud as possible. The ice royalty waved at the runners and at one point they asked if we wanted to build a snowman which led to a resounding “NO!” from the crowd. It was pretty hilarious. (Side note: I may or may not have done an interpretive dance to “Let it Go.”)

Bathroom Break

Lucasfilm / Via youtube.com

Lucasfilm / Via youtube.com

Around mile 2.5, Megan and I both realized that we both needed a bathroom break. The lines were pretty long so we kept going. Then, there were two random port-a-potties (well…not random. They weren’t phantom port-a-potties.) with a pretty short line…or so we thought. We ended up waiting for a good while which made me antsy. (So I admit that this GIF doesn’t really have anything to with port-a-potties. That is unless you call the bathroom the dark side? I don’t know. I got nothing. All I know is that I’m ridiculously stoked for the new lightsabers. I don’t really care what the rest of the Internet says. They are epic and I want one!!!!!! Oh yeah…where was I?)

Rolling through Epcot!

Cruising through epcotBefore we knew it, we were approaching the backside of Epcot! We ran by the outdoor part of Test Track and and eventually made our way into the World Showcase between China and Norway. It’s weird because you think there would be more behind the pavilions. It was basically just a parking lot and a loading dock full of beer kegs. Anyway, we stopped for a few pictures since it was finally sunrise. Running around the countries has always been a dream of mine and was definitely my favorite part of the race!

All the High Fives!

high fiving(Obviously the Millennium Falcon and the TIE Fighters aren’t high fiving, but you get the picture….) We eventually made our way through the International Gateway towards the Boardwalk loop. There were other people running towards us which led to multiple high fives and loud cheering. There’s really nothing more encouraging during a race than runners cheering other runners!

The Finish Line is in Sight!

Lucasfilm / Via youtube.com

Lucasfilm / Via youtube.com

We finally made it around the loop (an old man was giving out cookies. It was one of the few times I’ve taken food from strangers.) and we ran behind the Land and the Imagination pavilion. After a selfie in front of the giant ball, we kicked it into high gear and finished the race!
AND WE DID IT!

we did it!WWWWWWWWWWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We felt awesome! We crossed the finish line, got our medals and found Chelsie! It was nice to enjoy the experience and not worry too much about our time. Overall, I would definitely run another Disney race. They are pretty pricey, but they are extremely well organized and I mean, come on, it’s Disney! One of my goals is to run a marathon before I turn 30 and the Disney Marathon weekend is on my birthday in 2017. I think that might be it!

So congratulations to all of the Disney Princess Weekend runners! You all totally rock!

Stay tuned next week for pictures of us (not just Star Wars GIFs) during the race!

Proud Jedis

(I know this isn’t a part of the trailer, but who cares?)

The Art of Conquering Your Old Fears

When I was five years old, I took swimming lessons at the local college pool. After weeks and weeks of swimming in the safe shallow end of the half-Olympic sized pool, it was time to venture out into the dark abyss known as…the deep end. I was scared. Granted, how could I not be? There could be sharks and giant squids lurking in the briny deep! I patiently waited as my fellow seafarers to make the journey. Then, it was my turn to swim..err..doggy paddle…my way towards the deep end. I took a deep breath and started swimming.
3 feet.
4 feet.
5 feet.
6 feet.
12 feet.
I was doing it! I vividly remember looking up at the pool deck, seeing my Mom in the crowd of parents, and making some sort of exclaimed yelp. I was pumped! I HAD CONQUERED THE DEEP END! 

Sadly, this was the most daring feat of Nathan MacDonald as a minor.

For most of my life, I was what you would call…a scaredy cat. I didn’t like heights, I didn’t like getting hit in football, I didn’t even like sliding in baseball because I thought it might hurt. I didn’t take chances with my physical self. (Emotionally, I was a wrecking ball of silliness and attention grabbing.)

When I was in 7th grade, my class took a field trip to a ropes course. Now like I’ve said before, I weigh less right now than I did back then. I was awkward and chubby. So when it was my turn to do the trust fall, and have all my classmates catch me, I froze and adamantly said no. As the day progressed, I slowly began to muster up the courage to get on the course. At that point, everyone else had tried it except for me. When I went to climb up, the guide asked for another adult to help support her. You know, in case I fell off and, thanks to the science of a pulley system, pulled her up as I crashed to the ground. After I watched her ask for assistance, I slowly and sheepishly climbed back down.

Even though this episode happened about 14 years ago, I still remember how my weight took both my confidence and my fears hostage. At times, I still get uncomfortable and uneasy when I am confronted with a something like heights. Like last Monday.

I'm only half joking in this photo.... Photo credit: The Amazing Laura Osteen

I’m only half joking in this photo….
Photo credit: The Amazing Laura Osteen

So I work in a pretty awesome office with an even more awesome boss. When I heard that our office was invited to try out the new challenge course at FSU’s Rez, I was excited but slightly terrified at the same time. I figured “well, the Rez is gorgeous. And they’re going to need a photographer….” so I decided to go.

When it was time to put on a harness and go over the safety instructions , I started to panic. Really panic. I started to fumble around with the equipment and go through swings of making weird jokes and comments to being deathly silent. At this point, I felt like I was already behind everyone else. Then, my harness didn’t fit and I had to get a bigger one. So at this point, not only am I behind everyone else, I’m having to get special help. My fears and feelings from that experience in the 7th grade started to creep back up.

After a few more instructions, it was go time. I had already told everyone that I was going to stay on the ground…where it was safe. When it was our groups turn to climb up the webbing to first platform, I said “screw it. Let’s do this.” and I went up. I didn’t over analyze it. I just went for it.

Our first obstacle.  Photo credit: Joe Deer

Our first obstacle.
Photo credit: Joe Deer

The first obstacle was about 20 feet of the ground. I kept looking down and kept thinking “Welp. Time to die.” Then, like Indiana Jones, I took a step out on to the wire. “Okay…this isn’t so bad,” I said. “Actually, this might be…fun?” I got across without any problems. On to the next one!

On the next obstacle, I tried to step on a little unstable piece of wood that was a part of a shortcut to get to the other side. I tried to step on it…and I fell. But because of the multiple safety mechanisms within the course, I was fine. I pulled myself up and kept going. From them on…I was fearless. I finally knew the consequences of my failure and it was recoverable. So like my voyage to the deep end, I kept going.

The final obstacle of the day for me.  Photo Credit: Joe Deer

The final obstacle of the day for me.
Photo Credit: Joe Deer

My classic "Silently Screaming" face. Photo credit: Joe Deer

My classic “Silently Screaming” face.
Photo credit: Joe Deer

When we reached the last obstacle of the lower level of the course, I figured I had done enough for the day and called it good. As I was climbing down to the ground, I felt elated. I had broken my own mold. Even after years of testing my body and my limits during this weight loss journey, I still have fears of failure that I haven’t conquered. I still feel weird in the gym so I sometimes run instead because I’m better at it and I avoid playing some competitive sports because I don’t like letting my team down. But like that first step on to the wire, it’s sometimes scary to push yourself out of your comfort zone. But when you do, you can unlock your full potential.

 

How to Change the Face of Men’s Health With Movember

HP MovemberFor years, men across the world have made November the month to grow a lusciously lumberjack-esque thick beard which was colloquially known as “No Shave November”. When I was in college, I would give my razor a rest and try to grow a studtastic beard, but it always ended up in a disastrous and patchy mess that just pronounced my double (well…quadruple) chin. That was until a few years ago when I decided to do something about my health.

You see, for years I was relied on ignorance as a key to being happy. At 357 pounds, I knew I was a ticking time bomb but I pushed down that sadness with food and by being loud and crazy. Now that I’m healthier, but still loud and crazy, my mission in life is to help others become the best version of themselves by making the most of their lives by being healthy! And I’m not just talking about fitness either.

Here are a few facts for you:

  • 1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime
  • Around 15 million American adults (6.7% of the population) are diagnosed with depression each year.
  • Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in young men aged 15 – 35 years

So this year, I will be growing a moustache to change the face of men’s health with Movember.

For the next 30 days, my upper lip will be home the only hair on my face. But this month is more than just growing a studly handlebar, it’s about spreading the word of men’s health and the importance of prevention.

How am I doing that, you ask? By challenging you two ways! Here’s how!

Nate & Cat’s Shavetastic Spectacular Movember Challenge!

FFK MovemberFor the past three years, my buddy Catherine Williams and I have been trying to put together a video and a challenge for Movember. 2014 IS THE YEAR!!!! Catherine, who is an awesome champion for ALS awareness, and I came up with a challenge that is fun, easy, and could potentially leave you smelling like sandalwood.

Here’s what you do:

  1. Watch the video above
  2. Decide if you want to accept the challenge and donate $5 to N&CSSMC, or go double or nothing and try to shave a balloon with it popping.
  3. If you decide to shave a balloon…get a balloon, silly!
  4. Lather said balloon
  5. Start shaving
  6. If it pops, donate $10 and challenge two friends
  7. If it doesn’t, brag about your awesomeness and challenge two of your friends
  8. Have fun with your challenge! Post a video of you shaving the balloon on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or your favorite social media challenge. Don’t forget to tag the poor souls you’re challenging!

PLEASE NOTE: We are not liable for any injury or shaving cream mess that comes from this challenge. Shave your balloon at your own risk…or just donate the $5!

Simple enough? Awesome!

Well guess what, if you watched the video CONSIDER YOURSELF CHALLENGED! TIME TO SHAVE ALLLLLL THE BALLOONS!

Here’s the second way to donate!

BECOME A STACHETASTIC RUN SPONSOR!!!

Stachetastic Run SponsorsLast year, I challenged my friends on Facebook do donate a dime to Movember.
Pure and simple. Well…sort of.
I asked them donate a dime for each mile I ran that month. At first, I asked for 10 people to commit. I ended up with close to 25 sponsors. That’s $2.50 for every mile! This year, I am looking for more sponsors and I’m asking for a dime a mile again! Last year, I only ran 50 miles so each person donated at least $5! That’s still $125 towards men’s health!

Are you up to the challenge? If you are, comment on this post either below or on Facebook! I’ll tally up the miles and let you know how much you owe at the end of the month!

So I know I’m potentially asking a lot from you and at this point you’re probably wondering where this money is all going. Fair point! Last year, Movember USA alone raised over 22 million dollars towards research and education of testicular and prostate cancer research and prevention and creating awareness of issues surrounding men’s mental health. According to Movember’s independent auditors, 83.3% of the funds went directly to research which is above the international best practice standard for cause-based donations. For more information on where your money will go, click here.

If you decide not to donate, I do ask that you do think about your state of health. I ask you to get educated and to find out how to become a person that your future self will thank in years to come. Moustache or not, make this month about you and your health.

 

 

Psst…want to join in on the Movember fun? Join my team Moustaches Are Cool! Click here to join!

The FFK’s Official Review of the Mizuno Wave Rider 18

MizunoThis post is sponsored by Mizuno and Fitfluential, but the FFK tells it like it is. All opinions are my own.
————————————-
Here at the FFK, I don’t review as many products as I would like. Usually because when I apply to review something like a new running water bottle or accordion, I usually get passed over, (much to the chagrin of my accordion instructor). So when I first found out that I was selected to field test a pair of the brand spankin’ new Mizuno Wave Rider 18’s, I was thrilled!

One day after work, Santa Shoes had dropped off my new pair of running shoes. The first thing I noticed…they were orange and blue. AKA UF colors. At first (he said facetiously) I wasn’t sure I would be able to wear the color combo that has clothed the likes of other loser athletes like Tim Tebow and Ryan Lochte. HOW WOULD I LIVE WITH MYSELF?

Then…I tried them on. It was like wearing pillows downed with angel feathers and puppy fur. The Wave Riders not only felt good, they helped me gain about an inch in height. Oh yeah, they’re light too. I mean, help you levitate on the pavement light. As soon as I laced them up, I was ready to pound the pavement and break them in!

While I do have some issues with pronation, I knew that the Wave Rider is a neutral so I was curious to see if I was going to have any issues when I ran. In that regard, I could feel a difference between them and my other running shoes but it actually helped my running stride!

BUT LET ME TELL YOU HOW THE MIZUNO WAVE RIDER 18 BLEW MY OTHER SHOES OUT OF THE WATER!!!

With my old shoes, I would feel everything I ran over, from rocks to the cracks on the concrete (but I usually try to avoid those because I don’t want to break my mama’s back). The cushioned bottom creates a tire-like layer of protection between the food and the ground. Simply put, it is what other “shock absorbent” shoes try to be.

When I’m shopping for a shoe, I want something that will work for me. Meaning I want the shoe’s output to enhance my running ability. Running on asphalt is almost effortless with the Wave Rider 18. While your foot is securely in place in the shoe, your foot flows flawlessly with your stride.

You really feel the output of the shoe when you run uphill. Here in Tallahassee, it always feels like you’re running uphill no matter what. I was immediately navigate up the concrete mountain with no problem thanks to the design of the shoe. Usually after a long (5+ miles) run on that many shifts in elevation, my ankles and feet would start to ache, but the supportive design addressed that. In fact, I was ready to tack on a few more miles!

So fresh and so clean...

So fresh and so clean…

So my final thoughts on the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 are pretty simple. For $119, they are the perfect road shoe. I say road shoe because I need a shoe with that little more grip and traction on trails.  I’ve never owned a pair of Mizuno’s (except for a pair of Mizuno baseball cleats in Little League) but I can’t wait to check out the rest of their line of shoes! Especially for trail shoes!

MIZUNO WAVE RIDER 18 FTW!!!!

Want to learn more about the Wave Rider 18? Click here!